Friday, December 9, 2011

Book Review: When We Were Strangers

I suppose the quote "a heartbreaking debut" should've warned me. But I didn't read the back cover, I just picked it up and started reading When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt. And to be fair this book is beautifully written and is probably a more accurate account of immigration to America than I've ever encountered before.

But it is also heartbreaking.

I tell you now. The main character does not die.

But that's all I'll say about that. Except that this is a fairly quick read about an young Italian woman immigrating to America on her own in the 1890's.

I have great-grandparents that made similar journeys at a similar time, so this story appealed to me from the outset. Maybe you have relatives that made similar journeys, maybe not.
But I do not recommend this book for the faint-hearted.... Lots of serious crimes are committed, both by the main character and to the main character, but not all of them are really terrible.
There is also a lot of good in the book, major themes are family, friendship, helping the poor, and self improvement.

If I was in a book club I'd really enjoy discussing this book, so someone go read it and then talk to me about it :p

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